On an individual level, Carl Jones' first two seasons on Hawk Hill have been successful. As a freshman, Tay averaged just a shade under 10 points per game. Last year, in 34 minutes per game, Jones averaged 17 points and 3.4 assists per game.
While those individual numbers are impressive, there is another number that stands out concerning Tay's first two years on Hawk Hill. During Tay's first two years at Saint Joseph's, the Hawks have endured two 20-loss seasons. According to assistant coach Dave Duda, Tay is well aware of this, and is looking to turn the tables.
"He has proven that he can score," Coach Duda told Hawk Hill Hardwood. "Now he has to prove that he can win." In order to do this, Jones needs to trust his teammates and put them in positions where they can score. While Tay did distribute over 3 assists per game last year, he also turned the ball over more than twice a game. This is a number that needs to improve for the Hawks to see significant success this season.
Coach Duda sees Tay putting in the effort to become more of a pure point guard, and more careful with the ball. "Tay has been more focused," Duda said about Jones' offseason and fall practices. "He has been paying more attention to detail."
From freshman to sophomore year, Jones improved dramatically, and Coach Duda hopes, and expects, to see a similar jump this season. "(Tay) improved from freshman to sophomore year," Duda explained. "We need another jump from him."
That jump does not have to include scoring the ball more, but certainly has to do with shot selection, turnovers, and commitment to defense. In Saint Joseph's season opening win against Western Kentucky, Jones had 16 points and 4 rebounds. However, he also turned the ball over four times without an assist.
With Jones, Langston Galloway, and now Chris Wilson, Saint Joseph's has a talented backcourt capable of volume scoring. Tay Jones' ability to play within the team, defend, and continue to provide an invaluable offensive spark will be critical to the Hawks' success this season.
Saint Joseph's takes on Georgia Tech Thursday night in the Charleston Classic. For the Hawks to make a run in this tournament, they will need Tay Jones to score, defend, and limit his turnovers while involving his teammates. If he is able to do that, and the Hawks are able to sure up their perimeter defense, they are capable of turning heads in Charleston.
Player Profile: Tay Jones
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